RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has proposed a rule that would waive health care copayments for eligible Native American and Alaska Native Veterans. Copayments would be waived for eligible veterans beginning Jan. 5.

The proposal is expected to be published Thursday, Jan. 12, from which point there will be a 30-day period for the public to provide comments on the rule. Veterans Affairs will then consider the comments and develop the final rule.

“The intent of this policy is to encourage Veterans to seek regular primary care treatment, which can yield better health outcomes,” the VA said in a release. “Copayments for more than three visits to community-based urgent care in any calendar year would still be required, as for all Veterans. Follow-up care provided by a VA-authorized primary care provider would be exempt from copays.”

According to the VA, if the rule is finalized as proposed, eligible Native American and Alaska Native Veterans who have submitted proper documentation to the VA would no longer be required to pay copays for health care services.

“American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans have played a vital role in the defense of the United States as members of the Armed Forces for more than 200 years,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement. “This rule makes health care more accessible and allows us to better deliver to these Veterans the care and health benefits that they have earned through their courageous service.”

A copy of the unpublished 34-page proposal can be found below.